What’s with all the television mystery series’ ending their seasons with cliffhangers?

Do the big brains at the studios seriously expect that, at our Fourth of July picnics, we’ll be wondering how the September (or October or maybe even November after the college football season) opening episode of “Life in the Fast Lane” will pull our heroes back from the edge of the cliff or, for that matter, we’ll remember it at all?


13 May 2015 · Comments Off on Off the Rails · Categories: Personal Musings

I must have ridden across this bit of track hundreds of times when I worked for the railroad.

I was in a derailment once.

My buddy and I decided to take the old Night Owl to Boston for the weekend. We planned to leave Friday night, catch a night’s sleep in the sleeping car, and head back Saturday night.

Seems that, as the train left Providence, the coach behind the sleeping car derailed (all that means is that a wheel slipped of the tracks). Given that no one was hurt and no noticeable damage was done, the coaches were cut off the train and the engine, the bag car, and the sleeping car proceeded to Boston.

We arrived on time. As the Owl was an overnight train, there was a lot of padding in the schedule . . . .

I slept through the derailment.

08 May 2015 · Comments Off on The Fallacy of “Clinton Derangement Syndrome” · Categories: Personal Musings

There is no such thing.

There is only “Republican Derangement Syndrome.”

If Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene were Democratic President and First Lady, Republicans would react to them precisely as they reacted to the Clintons, and, currently, to the Obamas.

05 May 2015 · Comments Off on Pedestrian Concerns · Categories: Personal Musings

I like to ride my bicycle, I like to ride my bike.Fuji Sports 10

And where I live is a good place to ride: the traffic is light inside the development, the streets are wide and level, and the drivers for the most part courteous.

Not so the pedestrians and the joggers, who seem to get stupider every year.

I can understand a jogger’s choosing to run on asphalt, rather than the concrete sidewalk. If you’ve ever gone running, you know that asphalt is a damned sight softer than concrete.

Nevertheless, all those heel-strikes seem to be having detrimental effects on their brain stems. Rather than running on the right side of the road–that is, the left, facing on-coming traffic, more and more of them seen to prefer the wrong side of the road–that is, the right–with the traffic. Heck, more than a few of them take their side of the road in the middle.

With their heads buried in their iJunk machines listening to God knows what or why, they don’t hear me coming up behind them on my silent hit-and-run machine bicycle. (I wouldn’t listen to something via headphones on a bet when I’m bicycling–I want to hear the cars coming up behind me.)

One of these days, one of them is going to veer right in front of me at the last minute despite my shouting “Passing” in my loudest voice, and I’ll have it all recorded on my handle-bar cam.

16 April 2015 · Comments Off on Don Quixote Was a Realist · Categories: Personal Musings, Political Theatre

I am receiving emails from folks who, thanks to an offhand remark by Jon Stewart, call themselves the “Warren Wing” and want to browbeat Senator Elizabeth Warren into running for the Democratic nomination for President.

Senator Warren has repeatedly declared that she does not want and will not run for the nomination. Who the hell are they to question that?

Also, as a practical political consideration, she can likely do more good as a Senator for many years than she can do as a President for no more then eight. Furthermore, browbeating is seldom a propitious tactic.

I suggest that the “Warren Wing” grow up, live in the Real World where real stuff gets done, and stop tilting at windmills.



One of the failings of many of my fellow lefties is the notion that the only election that matters is the Presidential election. This bunch should go “Warren Wing” themselves a few state legislatures and learn how stuff works.

10 April 2015 · Comments Off on uWatch Out Now · Categories: Geek Stuff, Personal Musings

Peter St. Onge considers the iWatch and rudeness quotient.

He has a point.

As much as I do love computers for what they make possible, I am appalled at persons who continue telephone calls as they deal with sales clerks and find a twits on twitter more important than the friends in front of them. Heck, some young lady with her head in a cell phone nearly collided with me as she cut a left turn too close (and too fast) at an intersection day before yesterday.

Smart phones wielded by stupid persons make for no good outcome.

30 March 2015 · Comments Off on It’s about Time · Categories: Personal Musings

Does anyone still read Time Magazine and, if so, why?

25 March 2015 · Comments Off on Xed-Files · Categories: Personal Musings

I didn’t watch the X-Files the first time around and intend to maintain that record.

16 March 2015 · Comments Off on And the Winner Is . . . · Categories: Geek Stuff, Personal Musings

. . . Gannett, for creating the world’s user-unfriendliest websites, such as, say, for example!

And they said it couldn’t be done . . . .

09 March 2015 · Comments Off on Stray Thought · Categories: Personal Musings

A “peace-loving” society does not routinely refer to members and veterans of its armed forces as “warriors.”

Soldiers, pilots, sailors, veterans, even fighters, maybe, but not “warriors.”

20 February 2015 · Comments Off on “Tie Me Wallaby Down, Sport, Tie Me Wallaby Down” · Categories: Personal Musings

My local rag reports that Norfolk’s “Virginia Zoo” has not been a good place for wallabies to be.

(If you wonder why I have a print subscription to my local rag, this story illustrates why. We need local newspapers, and local newspapers need our support. Plus, my local rag is a good local rag. It’s not perfect, but it’s still my local rag.)

Full Disclosure:

I have not visited Norfolk’s “Virginia Zoo.” The older I get, the less I am fascinated by animals in cages.

12 February 2015 · Comments Off on Stray Thought · Categories: Personal Musings

Whoever came up with the idea for those little change pockets on the inside of the front pockets of men’s trousers, which serve only to make change inaccessible to the wearer, deserves swift and merciless retribution.

30 January 2015 · Comments Off on Timing Is Everything . . . · Categories: Personal Musings

. . . and there is no good time for a washing machine to overflow.

Yesterday was interesting.

29 January 2015 · Comments Off on Stray Thought, Clock Fatigue Dept. · Categories: Personal Musings

When I was a young ‘un, back in the olden days, the typical house had few clocks. There was the kitchen clock, the living room mantle clock, and a bedroom alarm clock or two. Grown-ups usually had watches.

I counted the clocks in the kitchen last night. There is one on the wall, one on the stove, one on the coffee-maker, and one on the microwave; if we had a mixmaster, I’m sure that, these days, there would be one on the damn mixmaster. I’m mildly surprised there’s not one on the slotted spoon.

In the living room, there is one on the cable box and one on the weather gadget. This does not include the clocks on the three computers (his and hers personal laptops and my friend’s work laptop for the VPN to her office computer).

I no longer wear a watch, as there is a clock on the cellphone in my pocket (I sometimes carry the pocketwatch my mother gave me for high school graduation when I want to be pretentious formal, but that’s another thing).

Once not all that long ago, when I was on a gig to design some training materials, several of us were looking to schedule a demonstration so I could collect some information. When we went to set a time for the demo, all three of us pulled cellphones from our pockets to check the time. Not one of us wore a watch.

Time is no longer a river. It’s a flood.

We have too damn many clocks.

08 January 2015 · Comments Off on Nothing To Do, Nowhere To Go · Categories: Personal Musings

Still under 300k.

Jobless claims decreased by 4,000 to 294,000 in the week ended Jan. 3, the Labor Department said today in Washington.


The four-week average of claims, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, declined to 290,500 from 290,750 the week before.

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits climbed by 101,000 to 2.45 million in the week ended Dec. 27. The unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits held at 1.8 percent. These data are reported with a one-week lag.

In other news, Bloomberg’s experts were on target. I think I’ll run out and buy that lottery ticket . . . .

04 January 2015 · Comments Off on Stray Question · Categories: Personal Musings

The factors of “9” are “factorials.” Are the factors of “4” “tutorials”?

More »


Rockers (as opposed to “rock-n-rollers”) should not try to do Christmas songs. Too much back-beat.

18 December 2014 · Comments Off on Stray Thought, Christmas Shopping Dept. · Categories: Personal Musings

Based on what I saw at Toys R Us, board games are going the way of T. Rex.

15 December 2014 · Comments Off on Stray Question · Categories: Personal Musings

Will the time come when industrial designers realize that users would like control buttons and knobs that can be read without a flashlight? Eight-point light grey letters on black doesn’t cut it.

Also, get off my lawn.

10 December 2014 · Comments Off on Enough Already · Categories: Personal Musings

In the Charlie Brown comic in today’s local rag, Snoopy is trying to get into the Winter Olympics in Grenoble. They took place in 1968.

Please make it stop.